Beating the winter training blues
The recent bad weather has signalled that winter may finally be here – but that needn’t be a reason for Kiwis to become inactive!
Sure, it can be harder to pull on the trainers and head outside when the weather’s wet and chilly. But ACC Sport Programme Manager, Isaac Carlson, may have the answers to staying motivated to keep active during the colder months – starting with a personalised training plan from ACC’s ActiveSmart website.
‘‘Whether you’re an experienced athlete or simply looking to get off the couch and ease back into exercise, ActiveSmart can provide you with a personalised training plan in the activity of your choice – including walking, running, cycling, swimming and multidiscipline events,’’ said Mr Carlson.
‘‘The site has a host of other features, too, including weather forecasts for your area, so you can plan your training around what’s happening outside. Plus there’s a training journal, to help keep you on-track and chart your progress, and there are warm-up and cooldown tips to help you exercise safely.’’
The training plan is based on a comprehensive online questionnaire and takes into account your current level of fitness, any health issues and future fitness goals.
What’s more, it’s been developed by leading fitness trainers, so you’re getting professional advice but at absolutely no charge.
The goal of ActiveSmart is to encourage Kiwis to get more active, but to do so in a safe manner that won’t lead to injury.
‘‘A mistake people often make is to jump back into physical activity after a long layoff, without adequate preparation. That can result in an early injury which ends up derailing your best intentions to get fit again,’’ he said.
The advice provided on ActiveSmart is designed to help prevent this scenario, so you can get the most out of your chosen programme of activity.’’
So, having a training plan is one thing – but what else can you do to ensure you keep active when the weather outside is not exactly tropical?
Mr Carlson offers the following tips:
Consider the changing season and reduced daylight hours. Adjust training times if possible, eg go for a run at lunchtime rather than after work, when it may be colder and darker. If you’re exercising in the evenings, try to stick to well-lit areas.
Now’s a great time to freshen up the winter wardrobe with a new training kit – it will provide extra motivation to get out and hit the pavements. Buy exercise clothing suitable for colder weather, eg wear tights rather than bare legs. There’s lots of vibrant training gear available now, this can help brighten up those winter months and keep you visible when exercising outdoors at night.
Team up with a training partner, to help motivate you to get out there on those extra-cold days. Find a friend with similar exercise goals, who will make the winter commitment with you.
If there are days when the winter weather is too much to tackle, remember a good gym has all the indoor facilities you need.